A Day in the Life of a Front end Developer

Have you ever wondered what a Front end Developer does? What’s their daily routine? Which challenges do they face? Which technologies are used in their everyday work? Well, today you will know everything!

Have you ever wondered what a Front end Developer does? What’s their daily routine? Which challenges do they face? Which technologies are used in their everyday work? Well, today you will know everything!

In this blog post, we will answer the most-asked questions with the support of inside information: the personal perspectives of someone in our team! Let’s go!

First of all: what is Front end?

According to Oxford Languages, in computing, Front end is an adjective ‘relating to or denoting the part of a computer system or application with which the user interacts directly’. In a more simplified way, it is the interface between the user and the website you are seeing right at this moment!

Front end also includes all the content, design, and features you see on any website, such as texts or images, and even all the buttons you can interact with, such as forms and search areas.

Why is a front end developer important in our team?

They’re responsible for the experience the user has when using a web application. Through technology, design, and programming skills, they create a functional and user-friendly experience and an attractive way of disclosing the information. Since Advertio was created to help small businesses advertise online, we want our users to have the best experience possible — and this obviously starts with our interface!

Now that you already know the basics about this profession, let’s dive deep into it with the help of one of the people that actually created Advertio’s front end from scratch: Bernardo, the frontman in our Front end development team.

How is the average day here at Advertio?

According to Bernardo, at the beginning of the week, the front end team starts by looking at their email. That’s the place they receive Datashare information, pokes on Jira, and invitations to meetings. At this point, the team needs to decide if they can accept them or if there are any schedule conflicts.

Afterwards, they go to Jira, and try to understand the delivery timings for the work they need to do in the current sprint (a short period a team tries to accomplish several tasks, in Advertio’s case it’s two weeks long). Specific tasks or bugs can appear so they need to see if they are aligned with the sprint expectations.

At 11:30 am, the Front end team has a stand-up meeting — a 10-minute short video call where the team shares their current work progress and raises the issues that are blocking them from performing their tasks. In the front end case, it is important to work together with the backend team so that value can be delivered together, at the same time, as a whole.

When the stand-up is over, everyone goes their own way. If throughout the day any doubts emerge, Bernardo will clarify them directly either by text on Slack or in a huddle.

How is the team organised?

Right now the team has four people — Bernardo, Diogo, Matthias and Ricardo. Bernardo has the biggest responsibility in terms of managing the team and expectations and he also deals with the more technical part of the issues. He attends meetings, takes care of maintenance and other features that usually affect the application in a transversal way, ships the developed code to the cloud and ensures that the entire company knows, in an organised and human-perceivable way, what has been developed.

Advertio’s front end team: Mathias, Diogo, Ricardo & Bernardo.

The other three members, Diogo, Mathias and Ricardo, implement new features, do code reviews, plan, estimate and investigate. They have joined the team in the past year and have been working together to have even more knowledge on the app and create new innovative features. Even though these team members aren’t fully independent yet, the whole team is always invited to share their opinions. “We don’t want a wall between us: we want dialogue, feedback, healthy confrontation of opinions, and knowledge sharing. There are three of us but we are actively looking to recruit”, Bernardo told us.

What technologies do you use?

At Advertio, we use Javascript and HTML. Besides these two, the Front End team also uses React, a framework that allows the team to use Javascript in an easier way rather than HTML.

The last one, Material UI or MUI is a library that gives visual consistency and saves the team time, as it provides them with already made visual components, like buttons and pop-ups.

What are your biggest challenges?

On a technological level, the team has plenty of things to consider:

  1. Minimising the number of steps (e.g. clicks) the user has to take to reach a certain goal. For that purpose, the front end needs to ensure visual (UI) and user experience (UX) consistency. This is work developed together with our UX designer, Diana.
  2. Minimising the number of “distractions” is also very important because UIs are packed with features that can be quite overwhelming and confusing;
  3. Another challenge is adapting to the different types of users: since not everyone is tech-savvy, front end professionals need to balance between features that can be accessed both with a mouse and a keyboard. For the first one, Bernardo told us that “the use of the mouse is imperative and as such everything in the UI has to be reachable through it”; for the second “having the UI accessible to that point is indeed a challenge: the use of TAB, ENTER is the most common”;
  4. The UI needs to be appealing to grab the user’s attention as much as possible but the reality is the implementation of certain designs is always dependable on its practical application — whether it is possible or not to implement. And if it is possible but there is a time/effort constraint, such as a design taking one year to implement, it certainly won’t be the ultimate choice;
  5. Finally, a responsive UI is of major importance. It needs to have the shortest possible wait time (or zero, really) and it has to be adaptable to the screen resolutions of all the devices — mobile, tablet and desktop.
Photo by Ilya Pavlov on Unsplash

Besides these tech challenges, there’s also a very important thing when you work remotely and asynchronously: managing your time.

Since the team isn’t together physically in the same space, as we said before, the contact is established through different platforms. This means having several notifications a day, which can lead to a sense of overwhelmedness. To avoid this, Bernardo advises allocating time just for you and for your tasks and to use platforms like Jira and Google Calendar.

Which characteristics does a front end need to have to work at Advertio?

  1. Keen eye: this is very important in this role due to its visual specificity. You need to have this characteristic to see if something is not aligned as it should, for example;
  2. Dedication: being present and reaching out to help when things aren’t going in the right direction — sometimes in these cases, front end needs to dedicate more hours to solve the issue;
  3. Frontality and honesty: the ability to speak your mind and, in specific cases, admit that the solution arranged wasn’t the best is of great value to the team;
  4. Critical thinking: “there are no stupid questions” is one of the 5 Rules we live by for a reason! When tasks are assigned, think about them and if you have questions, don’t mind asking.

Why do you like to work at Advertio?

Bernardo entered Advertio three years ago, as an intern, while he was still studying. At the time, the front end needed a big change, and he was allowed to build it together almost from scratch with other team members. That front end is still the one you see at this moment. All of this makes him have a big sense of belonging.

“The future sounds promising on several levels”, he told us. The remuneration and bonuses the team gets for their performance are very relevant, but there’s a factor that has the biggest weight in his answer — the team’s work environment. At Advertio, the communication is very easy-going and you can talk with any team member in a relaxed way, whether you’re talking with your department teammates or even the people on the board, like the CEO, João Aroso, or the CTO, Diogo Nesbitt. This is not a typical corporate environment, where you feel like you’re just one more person: the team feels the direct impact that their work produces.\

Scavenger hunting on the 22nd April 2022 with part of our team.

Lastly, the team-building events also contribute a lot to this strong team environment: over the last year, the company started focusing more on these initiatives — we created fun activities like go-karting, paintball, and scavenger hunting. They are really important as they integrate the people: by getting to know each other in person and spending time together, the screen barrier is broken.

Are you a Frontend developer and would you like a new challenge in your career? Then Advertio is looking for you! Join our team here.

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